Compare Native App, Web App, Hybrid App and Website

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Native App, Mobile web app, Hybrid App, are the basic concepts of mobile programming. Based on the programming language, mobile apps can be divided into 3 categories: native apps (Native App), web apps (Web App) and hybrid apps (Hybrid App). Of which, more than half of mobile developers choose to be native apps.

1. Native app

Concept:

  • Are applications written specifically for a type of platform such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone in the respective languages of each platform, for example Java on Android, Object C on iOS, C# on winphone.
  • Each Native App can only run on one platform and cannot be ported to other platforms. For example, games for iOS will not be able to run on Android devices. Most mobile games today are Native Apps.

Strength:

  • In terms of performance, native apps run faster than mobile apps in most cases. However, the difference in applications can be small, acceptable and difficult to perceive by the user. Currently, with games, the native app is outstanding and wins absolutely.
  • Regarding the native app feature, it has the ability to access hardware (such as camera, GPS, recording device ...) and can access local permissions such as: copy, create, write, read files (on memory). of mobile), contact information, personal information, making calls, messaging... In other words, native apps can exploit the most hardware power of the platform. While Mobile Web app cannot (there are cases where files can be read, like upload).
  • In offline mode: Native app has an advantage over mobile web app (always running online). In offline-mode, the native app will use previously cached data the last time the user went online.
  • In terms of performance, native apps run faster than mobile apps in most cases. However, the difference in applications can be small, acceptable and difficult to perceive by the user. Currently, with games, the native app is outstanding and wins absolutely.
  • Regarding the native app feature, it has the ability to access hardware (such as camera, GPS, recording device ...) and can access local permissions such as: copy, create, write, read files (on memory). of mobile), contact information, personal information, making calls, messaging... In other words, native apps can exploit the most hardware power of the platform. While Mobile Web app cannot (there are cases where files can be read, like upload).
  • In offline mode: Native app has an advantage over mobile web app (always running online). In offline-mode, the native app will use previously cached data the last time the user went online.

Weakness:

  • Not cross-platform: a native app can only run on a certain operating system.
  • With each HDH, the programmer has to write its own native code for it, leading to inconsistencies between application versions, high development costs and requiring the ability to master many languages in programmers. Sometimes it requires programmers to use proprietary tools and only work on a single environment such as using xcode on Mac OS (if you want to develop apps for iOS).
  • Moreover, the maintenance or upgrade will take a long time. Due to the need to repair each app on each HDH, the process of submitting to the app market and waiting for approval (sometimes rejected because of some violations of the app market rules), the update does not reach users immediately. ie, moreover they have to update themselves when entering the app market.
  • The version diversity of HDH hinders the universalization of native apps. Devices running older versions of HDH will not be able to install.

Best when:

  • The app is published to a single platform
  • Applications with high requirements, surpassing the construction capabilities of hybrid or web.
  • Applications with high requirements for native UI or graphic animation (for example, game applications)

2. Web application (web-based app)

Concept:

  • An application is a type of program that is capable of making the computer do something directly that the user wants to do.
  • Web apps can be designed to run on web platforms or mobile device browsers. For example : https://m.facebook.com is a Web App for mobile.

Strength:

  • Cross platform: Can run on all mobile browsers supporting HTML and javascript versions.
  • No need to install on the machine.
  • Advantages for developers:
    • With a single version for all, it is advisable to reduce the cost and time for future development, maintenance, and upgrades.
    • Common programming languages are HTML and Javascript that most programmers know.
    • Unlimited programming environment, programmers can work on most HDHs.
    • The app doesn't need to be rebuilt via SDK or another proprietary development tool like xCode (just deploy to the server and run).
    • Version updates will come immediately and transparently to the users (right after deploying) without going through the procedure and waiting for approval like app marketplaces.
  • Can be bookmarked by search engines (good for SEO).
  • Easy to promote: users can find through search engines, share links from email, from social networks or from online advertising services like Google Ads.

Weakness:

  • Although HTML5 has a wide range of compatibility, it also comes with a weakness. It depends on browser, platform, machine type. Especially when the market fragmentation of mobile devices is as large as it is today, it makes it more difficult for programmers to choose the right part of HTML5 to use.
  • In terms of performance, web-based apps don't run as fast as native apps, and don't deliver the full experience that the platform can provide, which is also the reason most mobile games don't use web apps.
  • Always have to run online. When the network is unstable, the web application also immediately shows its weakness.

Best when:

  • Software developed with low budget
  • The application does not need to be posted on the App store
  • Experienced programmer in web development (html, css, java script)

3. Hybrid app

Concept:

  • It is a hybrid application of both Mobile Web App and Native App. Accordingly, the basic parts of the application are still written in the web language, but are placed in the native container, so it can still be posted to the App Store.

Strength:

  • Hybrid can combine the strengths of both native and mobile apps and exploit the best experience of the platform.
  • For example: Display content on all mobile devices, take full advantage of mobile device features such as GPS, Camera, accelerometer... this cannot be done on mobile web, using application even without an internet connection. Mobile applications of some current news sites such as Vnexpress, Dantri etc. are all hybrid applications.

Best when:

  • The app will be published to multiple platforms
  • Apps need to be posted on the App Store
  • Experienced programmer in web development (html, css, java script)

4. Website

Concept:

  • Website is a collection of many single websites, into one large website, sharing the same domain name. Every single web page written in html is called a Web Page. For example: Each article on my blog is a web page, the collection of all articles is a website, named toidicodedao.com.
  • In fact, the line between web app and website is quite thin. An online newspaper site - vnexpress, for example, in the eyes of readers it is a website. But in the eyes of an editor or admin, it's a web app.

Weakness

  • Low interactivity, little functionality (View, read, click back and forth between links...)
  • Made up of static html pages and some resources (images, audio, video)
  • Used to store and display information

Thus, each type of application has its own advantages and disadvantages. We should choose the appropriate application type to build our application. With the trend of programming in the world right away to mobile in which Native application and web application are becoming more powerful than ever. So, hopefully this article helps you distinguish each type of application with its advantages and disadvantages and which use cases are best.

Source: https://viblo.asia/p/so-sanh-native-app-web-app-hybrid-app-va-website-AQrMJbgEM40E

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